Begin the journey to 1870s Whiskey River in this thrilling romantic adventure series, Whiskey River (Whiskey River Brides series).
Within a tough city girl beats the untamed heart of a wild spirit…
Ella Raines may not have the best reputation in New York, but she’s determined to have respect. Knowing she will achieve this with a fresh start, Ella answers an advertisement for a mail-order bride in an up-and-coming Western town, Whiskey River, Wyoming.
Colton Hill is a wandering gunslinger seeking new horizons and is tired of being challenged because he’s the fastest gun around. When he meets Ella, he’s amused by her unusual ambition and agrees to tag along to Whiskey River.
Together, they travel Westward in search of happiness, purpose, and destiny. What they find instead is the spark of something they cannot control.
Targeted Age Group:: adult; clean historical romance
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I took a writing challenge with a friend of mine, Tiffany Lambert, who wrote clean historical romance under the name Trinity Ford. She made it sound so easy and intriguing that I thought I'd give it a try. When I started writing, the story of a gunslinger and a dancehall girl came into my mind. The characters Colton and Ella came fully formed, along with the fictional town of Whiskey River, Wyoming. Soon, I had mapped out ten books for my Whiskey River Brides series.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Years ago, my mother heard a priest tell a true story of a woman who had been a prostitute years before. She gave it up and moved to another city, hoping to start her life over and leave her past behind. But a man from her past saw and recognized her, and pubicly ruined her life. Instead of moving to another city and starting over again, she committed suicide, believing that she couldn't escape the bonds of her past, that it would always catch up with her. The story was a lesson to not judge people, to accept people for who they are and not for their past, and that people can start their lives over, if they choose.
The story haunted me for years. When I made the decision to start writing clean historical romance, the woman from the story came to mind and I decided to write her a new story. Although my character Ella Raines in my book Whiskey River (Whiskey River Brides, #1) wasn't a prostitute, she was a dancehall girl and didn't have the best reputation. Like the girl above, she wants to start her life over again, but it soon catches up with her.
Then I thought of a gunslinger to pair her with and my character Colton Hill came to mind, fully formed. He was kind and loving, but strong and a true man's man. However, he was also a gentleman who knows how to treat a lady like a lady. Out of all my characters in Whiskey River, my favorite is Colton. He's funny, understanding, and a natural protector… perfect for Ella.
When I had the characters, their story quickly followed and the town of Whiskey River was born. Because it was set in the wild West of Wyoming away from the rest of the world, the people have to rely on one another in order to survive. Because of this, the people of Whiskey River see people for who they are and not for their past. Anyone wishing to escape the bonds of their past can start fresh in Whiskey River. But if you cross them, beware… for they will ban together and protect one another, even at the cost of their own lives. It would be nice if this could happen in real life, but I'm not giving up hope that it can be, that despite our pasts, we can look past them and to the future to live a better life.
Although they are far from perfect, I love Ella, Colton, and the inhabitants of Whiskey River. I hope you do, too.
Being the gentleman that he was, he let her go in first to dress for bed—which had quickly become their nightly ritual.
She quickly undressed, changed into her nightgown, and climbed into bed. “I’m decent!” She shook her head, unable to believe that she had said that. Knowing Colton, he would have something to say.
He came in smiling but, to her surprise, said nothing about her comment. He stripped off his shirt, revealing the tanned, strong muscles of his chest as a devilish smile lit his lips. “One thing I am going to miss is your snoring.”
She laughed. “I do not snore!”
He chuckled as he slid off his boots. She couldn’t believe it, but even his feet were attractive. “Yes, you do,” he said as he blew out the candle.
“Do, too.” When she didn’t say anything more, he replied, “Good night.”
“Good night.” She turned over, but try as she might, she just couldn’t sleep. “Colton?”
“Thank you… for everything.”
“’Twas my pleasure, my lady. Now, get some sleep.”
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